YORK residents have been urged to brace themselves for a Viking invasion this weekend.

This time the rampaging warriors will not be hungry for battle - but for food.

An authentic Viking barbecue will form part of a commemorative weekend to re-enact the 1066 Battle of Fulford, when an invading Viking army defeated the Saxon defenders.

The York Archaeological Trust has joined the Fulford Battlefield Society to prepare an action-packed weekend.

Free events on Saturday include a shield-making workshop beside the Park&Ride at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet at 11am, followed by a talk on battle tactics at 3.30pm.

There will also be a series of lectures at Fulford Social Hall in School Lane, Fulford, at 6pm on Saturday, and a living history encampment at 11am on Saturday and Sunday in Fordlands Road, Fulford.

The re-enactment itself will start at 11am on Sunday, when Viking warriors will begin their march from the McArthurGlen Designer outlet beside the Park&Ride south entrance, and clash with their Saxon opponents at Fordlands Road Green, Fulford. As part of the weekend, a Viking chef will cook up Nordic treats for the hungry wannabe warriors.

Members of the public have been invited to a feast of roast beasts including traditional Viking chicken stew - cooked in beer - at the Bay Horse, in Fulford Road, on Saturday, at 8pm. Entry costs £5.50.

On Sunday, the Bay Horse will play host to a giant smorgasbord of meat, fish and cheese, and a Viking pub quiz, starting at 1pm, costing £5.95 for adults, and £3 for children. To buy tickets for the two meals phone 01904 633384.

Event organiser Keith Mulhearn, of Roam'in Tours, said: "The Battle of Fulford was possibly the most important battle ever fought on English soil, but it was one that nobody had heard of. We have set about to change that, and this will be a great weekend out for all the family."

In September 1066 Harald, King of Norway, invaded England with 300 ships, intent on seizing the English crown. Scarborough and Holderness were sacked as the Viking army advanced towards York. At the Battle of Fulford, Harald defeated the defending Saxons in a bloody battle. The Viking victory marked the start of a series of events that would change English history.

Updated: 11:04 Friday, September 17, 2004